Carnegie Mellon University

Disbursement of Financial Aid

Financial aid (including student loans) is disbursed one semester at a time based on the studen'ts enrollment at the time of each disbursement. The Student Financial Aid Office begins to disburse aid to student accounts approximately 10 days before classes begin for students who have completed the necessary requirements.

Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are determined by the Student Financial Aid Office and are applied directly to the student account on a semester basis to pay charges for tuition, fees and on-campus room and board (if applicable).

Federal Loans

First-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers are required to sign a Master Promissory Note and complete loan entrance counseling before loan funds are credited to the student account. After these loan requirements are completed (no sooner than 10 days prior to the start of the semester), federal loans are disbursed to the student account. Disbursements are made to the student account in two equal payments (unless the loan is for one semester) - one for each semester covered by the loan. It is very important to understand that before federal student loans disburse, loan proceeds are reduced by the federal origination fee. Upon disbursement, actual amounts may be viewed by logging into Student Information Online (SIO) and selecting “Student Account Activity” from the “Finances” menu.

View loan disbursement dates

Private Loan Disbursement

Generally, private loan disbursements occur at the beginning of each semester covered by the loan.  Students should review their loan disclosures from their lender in order to determine the actual anticipated disbursement dates for private loans. Actual disbursements amounts can be viewed after they occur by logging into Student Information Online (SIO) and selecting “Student Account Activity” from the “Finances” menu.

Federal Work-Study

Students who are awarded Federal Work-Study may earn Federal Work-Study funds by working in positions with eligible employers. Wages are paid bi-weekly through the payroll system. These funds are not disbursed directly to the student account.

Outside Scholarships

Once the Student Financial Aid Office receives outside scholarship funds, they are credited to the student account and teh student is  notified if the outside scholarship reduces their eligibility for other financial aid. If the scholarship provider issues the funds by check, the student will be contacted to endorse the check prior to the funds being credited to their student account. 

Financial Aid/Student Account Refunds

When financial aid disburses, it is credited against the student account balance. If there is a credit balance remaining on the student account after all tuition and fees are paid, the student account is reviewed to determine if the student is eligible for a credit balance refund. If eligible, the refund is issued to the student either electronically (if you signed up for e-refunds) or by paper check.

View more information about refunds